Smart Sustainable Cities

Programme code:  TIGO-MSSC -16
Semester:   Fall 
Number of ECTS:  30 
Language of instruction:  English 

Profile of the programme

Cities still depend on substantial flows of non-renewable energy and of (building) materials that are not part of a closed cycle. As a large and growing part of the world’s population lives in cities, it is paramount that we find and implement sustainable solutions that can easily fit in with the ways in which people live (i.e. are ‘smart’). Students taking part in the minor participate in one of several applied research project assignments commissioned by external parties and varying in scope, location and spatial scale. These assignments are invariably multidisciplinary in nature. Some examples include: implementing zero-energy solutions in existing buildings; smart coupling of photovoltaic and wind energy to electric car batteries;  or suggesting an integral plan to make an existing neighbourhood energy-neutral.
Project work (with a study load of 10 EC ) is supported by courses (of 5 EC each).

Course structure diagram

There are two programmes possible:
1. The Essence course on Smart Sustainable Cities. Here you will work with students from other Universities of Applied Sciences. Next to the project, you will enrol in the following courses:

  • Introduction to Smart Sustainable Cities Introductory + Methodology. This course will create a common understanding of the definitions, state of the art, needs, challenges and disciplines interlinked in smart and sustainable cities and focus on knowing and applying the design process.
  • Social Design, about the social building blocks of sustainable cities: what is needed to make sustainable communities prosper and how can people be involved in new sustainable initiatives? Not only on the city scale, but also from a global perspective.
  • Physical Transition, integrating all the city stocks and flows related to the making, management and renovation of smart sustainable cities into a simulation model.
  • Entrepreneurship, about new forms of entrepreneurship and innovation to contribute to realizing a Smart Sustainable City.

The final week will be the Competition on Smart Sustainable Cities in the Netherlands.
There is an intake and selection procedure for students. For more detailed information, see: Smart Sustainable Cities project site and, after enrolling in the minor, follow the instructions for application.

2. Students, who are not eligible for the Essence project or do not wish to follow the above programme in combination with the following courses:

  • Research Plan, where you will learn more about research strategy, including quality control of your results through validation and review.
  • Social Design (same as in the Essence programme above).
  • Climate, about the scientific basics of climate change – on a global scale – and about adaptation measures in cities – on a project scale. The course focuses on implementing measures for flood protection and prevention of heat stress.
  • Sustainable Energy systems, a course for students having a background in engineering. In this course students will learn how to convert a system for a  building’s energy supply (such as a solar collector and heat pump) into a model and to simulate the energy demand. They will analyse and interpret the results and consider how the system can be optimized.
  • Dutch for Beginners (only for students from abroad; this course can be selected instead of one of the two courses mentioned above)

In this programme, too, the project group enters a Battle on Smart Sustainable Cities.

Course unit title  Number of ECTS 
Pick any 2 – 4 out of 6, depending study load of the project (10, 15, or 20 EC)   
Life Cycle Analysis 
Business models for sustainable solutions
Cracking your brain over sustainable development
Energy systems modelling 5
Sustainable urban development  5
Climate and the City 


Rien van Stigt (

More information

Download the course guide.

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